How will high Emotional Intelligence take your child ahead in life?

What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a quality that enables us to confront with patience, insight and imagination the many problems that we face in our affective relationship with ourselves and others. 

In social life, we can feel the presence of EI in a sensitivity to the moods of others and in a readiness to grasp the surprising things that may be going on for other people beneath the surface. EI recognizes the role for interpretation and knows, for example, that concealed within a forceful jolliness may be a sorrow that has been sentimentally disavowed. Basically it shows us the skepticism around our emotions.

Why is it important? 
We are used to referring to intelligence as a general quality, without unpicking a particular variety a person might possess. Therefore, we do not tend to highlight the value of a distinctive sort of intelligence which currently does not enjoy the prestige it should. 

Every sort of intelligence signals an ability to navigate well around a particular set of challenges- mathematical, linguistic, technical, commercial etc.. 

EI is what distinguishes those who are crushed by failure and those who know how to greet the troubles of existence with a melancholy and resilience. People who possess high EI appreciate the role of well-handled pessimism within the overall economy of a good life. 

How does EI develop and evolve?
Emotional Intelligence isn’t an inborn talent. It’s the result of education, specifically in how to interpret ourselves, where our emotions stem from and how to navigate these emotions. 

Ideally, EI should be taught from the youngest age before we make too many mistakes. It is because we haven’t till now taken EI seriously enough that our species has grown ever more technically adept while retaining the level of wisdom of earlier days. This has made us emotional monkeys with nuclear power.

This extends far beyond our formal education, though the education system should include specialized courses in every year of school or college, EI is more than something that should take place in the classroom at the hands of teachers and come to a halt at the age of 21.

 Importance of Emotional Intelligence in kids

How do we improve EI in kids?
Like any new skill, emotional intelligence also needs to be developed like one.  We start by encouraging children to actively work on developing it till it becomes second nature. Here is what you need to tell them to encourage them to start;

1. Acknowledge emotions - Ask people how they feel and answer others with authenticity – No more ‘I’m fine’ when you are not and courtesy ‘How are you?s. Accept that it is alright to show emotions and have them. Erase the taboo that exists in our society in talking about our emotions. 

2. Differentiate and analyze emotions - Sometimes when we talk or express feelings we tend to substitute the original one with one we think we know better. But there are a lot of emotions with their respective functions and they need to be handled differently. 

3. Accept and appreciate emotions – Emotions are neither good nor bad. It depends on the connection to society. Maintain a journal on a need basis to write down your emotions or an app if you have your phone always on you.

Ways to improve emotional intelligence in kids

4. Reflect on your emotions and their origin – I know why we feel the way we do already helps us handle the feeling.  Actively thinking about the thoughts written down helps in attaining this step.

5. Handle your emotions – Reflecting might already suffice. And it might not, where we find our way on handling them. This is not a size fit all solution. Read books on emotions, watch movies that help you understand another perspective, and ask your friends on how they approach certain situations. You may also join an online dance class or an online language course or even enroll for music courses and classes for guitar to find ways to handle and process your emotions.  It’s a trial and error principle. Find your way.

Tips to improve emotional intelligence in kids

6. Handling the emotions of others – As you master your emotions, you will find it easier to handle others' emotions. Because now you have a different understanding of emotions and an awareness about your own. Asking people how we can support them enables us to help them during acute situations and enables them in developing their emotional intelligence. 

With the suggestions listed above, you will easily be able to teach the next generation the importance of EI and integrate it into their daily learnings through their curriculum. 

For this purpose FSMBuddy (an online venture by Furtados School of Music) has introduced a course called Embracing Your Emotions (Age 8-15). Because the earlier, the better.